Vicki Lee, CEO of Hospitality New Zealand.

“The finalists for the 2017 Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence have been selected and it was no easy job for the judges”, says Vicki Lee, CEO of Hospitality New Zealand.

“Once again, I’m excited by the calibre of the entries received this year”, she said, “It reinforces the level of professionalism and passion that our operators have for the industry.  On top of that they had to squeeze in writing their awards entries around the major event of the year, the Lions Tour, which had many in the industry flat out for a number of weeks. No doubt, many of the Lions fans enjoyed eating, drinking or staying in these businesses and I’m confident they will have been well looked after”.

“The finalists are spread from one end of the country to the other and this is reflective of the value the industry brings to every region in the form of jobs and money injected into the local economy.  Tourism continues to grow and these businesses are an integral part of the visitor experience”, she said.  

Country hotels, upmarket metropolitan gastro pubs, multi-million dollar hotels, neighbourhood cafés, regional motels, exceptional hosts, marketers and trainers from all over the country are among the finalists announced today.

54 award finalists are spread across 16 separate categories.  The finalists in this year’s Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence are:

Best Bar

D4 on Featherston, Wellington

Emerson’s Taproom and Restaurant, Dunedin

Gin and Raspberry, Wanaka

Best Café

Dog with Two Tails, Dunedin

Fidel’s, Wellington

Longshot, Auckland

Best Country Hotel

Jolly Stockman, Gisborne

Theatre Royal Hotel, Kumara

Woodbourne Tavern, Renwick, Marlborough

Best Environmental/Sustainable Business

Hapuku Lodge & Treehouses, Kaikoura

Pullman Auckland

Wahi at Oceans, Tutukaka

Best Hotel

Edgewater, Wanaka

Escape to Picton Boutique Hotel

Jet Park Hotel & Conference Centre, Auckland

Pullman Auckland

Best Motel

Harbour City Motor Inn, Tauranga

La Rochelle Motel, Akaroa

Whangaparaoa Lodge, Auckland

Best Neighbourhood Bar & Eatery

Good Neighbour, Hamilton

Park Kitchen, Miramar, Wellington

The Dubliner, Methven

Best Newcomer – Accommodation

Aura Accommodation, Rotorua

Porters Boutique Hotel, Havelock North

Best Newcomer – F&B

Brew Union Brewing Co, Palmerston North

Emerson’s Taproom and Restaurant, Dunedin

The Little High Eatery, Christchurch

Best Redeveloped Accommodation

Aura Accommodation, Rotorua

Jet Park Hotel and Conference Centre

Stay Kerikeri

Best Redeveloped Bar/Restaurant

Bowl and Social, SKYCITY Hamilton

Danger Danger, Wellington

Jack Hackett’s Irish Pub, Wellington

The Rising Tide, Mt Maunganui

Best Restaurant

Botswana Butchery, Queenstown

Kika, Wanaka

Smith & McKenzie Steak House, Hamilton

Stratosfare Restaurant & Bar, Skyline Rotorua

White + Wong’s, Auckland

Excellence in Gaming

Ed St, Pukekohe

Square Leg, Hamilton

Tote and Craft, Upper Hutt

Yardhouse, Hamilton

Excellence in Host Responsibility

Christchurch Casino

Jack Hackett’s Irish Pub, Wellington

Stampede Bar and Grill, Papakura

Excellence in Marketing

Bowl and Social, SKYCITY Hamilton

D4 Featherston, Wellington

Escape to Picton Boutique Hotel, Restaurant and Bar

The Dubliner, Methven

Excellence in Training & Staff Development

D4 on Featherston, Wellington

Delaware North Wellington Airport, Wellington

Emberz at Ascot, Invercargill

Emersons Taproom and Restaurant, Dunedin


“Each year the Awards undergo a complete review to ensure we have the industry covered from a category perspective.  We also continuously refine the entry process to make it simple to enter while still requiring entrants to prove they are deserving of an award’, Ms Lee said.  

Entrants in the Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence are judged over an eight-week period by a panel of independent industry professionals, who assess every entry on a range of commercial and operational criteria – including staff training and human resources, customer service, food and beverages, marketing and promotional activities, environmental initiatives and the demonstration of business growth. The Finalists will now be mystery shopped to ensure what they say on paper is what they actually do in real life.

Winners of the Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence will be announced at the organisation’s national conference being held in Wellington on October 19.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.